Justice League

The DC Extended Universe has been off to a rocky start, to put it mildly. Yes, their films have made money, but the audience reactions to Man of SteelBatman v Superman, and Suicide Squad have been divided at best. Still, they’ve got a few promising projects coming up on the slate including Justice League and The Batman. And those involved with the franchise would really, really like you to know that they’re going to be good.

In a new interview, Aquaman screenwriter Will Beall talks up Justice League as “much more fun” and “much poppier” than its somber predecessors. Meanwhile, Ben Affleck reassures fans that, yes, he’s still planning to direct The Batman

Initially, it looked like the DC Extended Universe was positioning itself as the grittier alternative to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But the dour tone of Batman v Superman and Man of Steel seemed to turn off fans and critics, and efforts to punch up Suicide Squad just resulted in a messier movie. So now DC Films is in the position of trying to convince audiences that future DC movies will actually be fun. Speaking to Collider, Beall talked up his Aquaman movie with director James Wan and star Jason Momoa:

It’s going to be fun, it’s going to be really fun. What we’ve come up with and James [Wan] especially — he has a really clear idea of the tone he’s going to have, and I think Aquaman is one that’s going to blow people’s minds, not just visually, but I think the story and the scope of it is really great.

Honestly, the Justice League trailer made Aquaman look like just another glowering superhero in the DCEU mold. But we haven’t seen much of the character so far, to be fair. Anyway, Aquaman isn’t the only “fun” DC movie coming up, according to Beall:

I think Justice League again is, what you’re going to see — I hope I’m not going to get in trouble for saying this — but it’s much more fun, much poppier, than … I haven’t seen Wonder Woman yet, but Batman vs Superman was a little more somber. But Justice League is a lot more fun. And I think that feels to me like the direction those movies are heading now.

Again, we’ll just have to wait and see how these promises of a more “fun” DCEU pan out. What is clear at this point, though, is that the DC Films team is really pushing that angle hard. You’ll remember that when Peter visited the set of Justice League last year, the pitch seemed to be all about how much more “fun” it’ll be than Batman v Superman, with more color, more humor, and more personality. In other words, how much more Marvel-y it’ll be.

Along with Justice League, Affleck’s The Batman seems to be one of the most highly anticipated films on the DCEU calendar — which is why it was so concerning when Affleck said the solo Batman movie was “not a set thing.” However, Affleck would now like you to know that rumors of his leaving The Batman were greatly overblown and that he definitely still plans to direct it. He told Jimmy Kimmel:

I’m gonna direct the next Batman, we’re working on it. It’s one of those things that’s really frustrating because with Live By Night, it took me a year and a half to write it and get it ready and I worked really hard. It’s just no one gave a s**t. No one was like, “WHERE’S ‘LIVE BY NIGHT?” But with Batman I keep getting the, “WHERE’S THE F**KING BATMAN?” I’m like, “Whoa, I’m working! Give me a second!

Warner Bros. has been very insistent that Affleck’s Batman movie will happen sooner rather than later, while Affleck himself has maintained all along that he’d make the movie when he was good and ready. In any case, we can rest assured it’s happening, it’s just a matter of when.

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